Elaborating

Let me explain a thing.

I’m not falling apart simply because we lost an election.  I’m falling apart because of what that means.

I’m barely surviving as it is.  Massachusetts is supposedly one of the most liberal states, but even our safety net programs aren’t enough to get by on.  Charlie Baker has made it clear that he thinks most of the people who use safety net programs are scammers, and he’s promised to “aggressively pursue” welfare fraud.  That means there’s a high risk of my benefits being reduced or eliminated altogether.

Martha wanted to increase funding for mental health care.  I thought maybe, just maybe, that means I’ll finally be offered adequate treatment, something more than an untrained case manager who doesn’t even ask how I’m doing.  Not gonna happen now; scratch that little bit of hope off the list.

Democrats lost the US Senate, too, meaning Republicans now control both houses of Congress.  That means we’re likely to see drastic cuts to safety net programs like food stamps from the federal level, and perhaps even privatization of Social Security, which would fuck over disabled people as well as a lot of retirees.  They could finally succeed in repealing Obamacare, meaning millions of people would once again be without healthcare coverage.  They will do their goddamnedest to take away women’s right to reproductive health care.  All those gains we’ve made in marriage equality and other LGBTQ+ rights will be rolled back.  This will benefit old, rich, white men and no one else.

I poured a year of my life into this campaign.  I hung on and worked through intense suicidality because I believed that a win for us would help a lot of people in situations like mine.  I put everything I was and everything I had into it, and in the end, it didn’t make a damn bit of difference.  It feels like a metaphor for the rest of my life: no matter how hard you try, Kyra, you’re never going to succeed because you’re not fucking good enough.

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17 Comments

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17 responses to “Elaborating

  1. I hear you, my friend. So clear. xox

  2. There is still room for hope. Yes, the election was lost. But the GOP still managed to fail to get enough votes to ram things past the President. This midterm, they successfully got more of their people out to vote. People who are happy with the President stayed home. After all, what could go wrong for them?

    Your voice is needed to tell others that the GOP is wrong about welfare issues and mental health issues. Your voice has told others that there is a need to reform welfare issues and mental health issues. In that regard, you have succeeded far better than what your candidate was able to achieve.

    On a personal note, last year about this time I was looking at the same thing you were. I was financially spent, alone, and looking at homelessness or an end to my life. I tried hard to make it the latter. And if I were successful, I would have died not knowing there are other people out there like me.

    I’m saying all this because I can’t be optimistic and say things will get better. But I can say you have achieved important victories, even now. Your view on how to run a campaign is important. Hell, if I could run for office, I’d want someone like you working on my campaign. Your mind is important, Kyra.

    • My voice hasn’t really told anyone anything. I can blog about it here, anonymously, but I don’t have the guts to say it out loud because I’ve internalized the shame of being disabled and crazy and poor. Here, I’ve got a pretty narrow audience, and most of them already agree with me anyway. I’m not changing anyone’s minds.

      • I’m in a similar boat, Kyra (with regards to crazy, poor, and blogging about it anonymously). I have chatted with like minds about things, but I haven’t persuaded them. The thing, though, is that you don’t have to radically convince people in order to change minds. Sometimes it’s enough to turn someone’s dour mood around with a well-timed Joe Biden GIF.

      • Just Another Pixie

        ((hugz))
        Well, I’ve learnt from your postings more about the election system in USA and some important issues than in my life before.
        If they try to pull your disability, we can shout: EUGENICS?! all over the internet, I’m thinking info graphics and such.
        I knew the situation in US was bad, but didn’t know just how bad it was, or why so many people with mental health issues were homeless…
        You *are* changing minds, one at a time! Even anonymous blogs or fb postings can make a difference!
        There are people in the world (and US) who are still into the whole eugenics thing, if you give up now, they will truly win, do you wish to give them that satisfaction?
        I recently saw a video about growing robotization of jobs – it’s kinda depressing, it said 40% of people would be without jobs, that would also bring health and mental health problems… There needs to be a different version of future than the GOP would like to write it! And your voice – even if you’re done fighting – is still a very important voice!

  3. It is going to be pretty scary having them in control of both the House and the Senate 😦

  4. As someone who is probably going to lose their disability benefits, not because I abused the system and manipulated my way into the system, but entered it fighting and kicking in resistance, I can only say I hear you. Food stamps? The irony is that because I earned TOO MUCH MONEY when I was able to work, I now don’t qualify for most of the programs out there anyway, because my monthly disability payments are a tiny bit above average. Not enough to survive on, of course, but marginally better than those at the bottom of the spectrum. But no food stamps, and access to healthcare? I’d laugh, if it wasn’t so horrifically tragic.

    I became eligible for Medicare this past year, which, in effect, simply meant that my monthly disability was reduced by one sixth of my monthly income, but because there is an automatic yearly deductible, even AFTER struggling through paying the deductible, I still can’t afford to see a doctor anyway because my portion of the payment exceeds my “disposable income”. Which doesn’t really matter in the long run, because even if I could afford to see a doctor, I couldn’t afford to get prescriptions filled (even though I responsibly opted for a prescription plan, thereby reducing my monthly income even further) because even with the prescription plan, my co-pays are more than I can afford. And we’re talking access to a regular doctor, here, not even bringing mental health care into the conversation. Because, honestly, I haven’t had access to any sort of mental health care for more than fifteen years (since I was employed with a large corporation that provided good health care benefits).

    I am not only living below the poverty line, but I am likely to lose my home, and will probably be reduced to either (a) living in my car, (b) living on the street, (c) taking my own life because I’ll finally run out of excuses why I should keep believing it might get better. I’ve fought so hard to survive the way I entered this world (very abusive past, with lots of physical impairments as a souvenir to keep me company in my old age), and have lived through ovarian cancer (twice), abdominal cancer (three times), and struggle with the day-to-day impossibility of trying to manage osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis that is crippling my hands and knees, never mind the brain injury and the fact that I’m bipolar and have lived with PTSD and dissociative disorder for most of my life. My medical bills have wiped me out completely, sucking up every last dime that I ever had the ability to accumulate, leaving me penniless and dependent on a broken system.

    I’m not sure if it’s just stubbornness, or the surviving spirit in me, but I keep trying to find ways to improve the quality of my life, and especially to improve on my ability to see the potential for good in this world. But like you, today I feel defeated, and hopeless, and like we are trying to exist in a world that is determined to squash us down and break us into pieces.

    I don’t want to exist in a world where people have to scratch out a meager existence that isn’t enough to support a life with any sort of dignity, where humans don’t have access to healthcare, where women’s rights are reversed and stolen away, and where any moves toward equality are erased. When I voted yesterday, I knew there was little chance in hell we would retain the majority in the Senate, but I wanted so hard to believe it was possible. Today, I wake up to a world that has disaster-waiting-to-happen written all over it. It’s enough to make any person physically ill, and I can practically hear the hearts breaking in every direction.

    Still, even though I know the worst is likely yet to come, I try to remind myself that I’ve survived some pretty gnarly sh*t in the past, and that even though today it may be bleak and empty, tomorrow still holds the promise of the unknown. Yes, it would appear the writing is already on the wall, but we can’t allow our voices to be silenced, simply because those with the most money can make all the rules (again). We still have a choice to make. We can choose to remain vocal, and we can survive, despite their attempts to eradicate each and every one of us. We can live to see another day.

  5. I haven’t much to offer that’s tangible or overly useful, but I’ll offer what I do have: solidarity and parallel rage.

    If at any point I perfect the recipe for converting rage into something more edible (or perhaps a jack-and-the-beanstalk-type bean for getting the hell outta dodge), I’ll send that along as well.

  6. I stayed up late (Mountain time zone) to follow election results. I went to bed tired, discouraged, and concerned. I woke this morning and realized the outcomes are simply wat they are. I/we cannnot change them and I, for one, am choosing to ‘carry on’ and do the best that I can for humanity. After all, we have another significant election in two years.

    • In two months, I won’t have enough money to pay my rent. It gets awfully cold in Massachusetts in January. I already don’t have food or money to buy it. I already don’t have access to public transit. I already don’t have anything close to adequate mental health services. It’s hard to give a flying fuck about what happens in two years when your last hope for surviving the next two months goes up in smoke. It’s easy to be zen and say “It is what it is” when you have a steady income, a safe place to live, enough food to eat, abd adequate health care. It’s pretty much impossible when you don’t have those privileges.

      • Please forgive my unintentional insensitivity.

      • Just Another Pixie

        Then you have two months and can give crowdfunding or other options a go for two months? Anything can happen in two months…. Why jump ahead if it’s not that far yet?
        You mentioned group home and I know you don’t want to go there, but could you possibly afford that? At least until the spring or something…?
        Have you been in one yet and are they very horrible where you live?

  7. ((((hugz))) I’ve been thinking about you, how are you holding up?

  8. Just wanted you to know I am thinking about you and hope you are ok.

  9. Getting worried that I haven’t seen you online…. hope you are OK!!! (((hugz)))

  10. Kyra, you are good enough. I know things are tough. I know you put everything into this and you thought it would pay off. and I’m sorry it didn’t. that’s really tough on you since you poured your heart and soul into it and did all you could. but you do have value, and a right to live, and a right to speak out, perhaps you could do something like gather some of your posts here, and not sign them so put them as anonomous, and send them somewhere? just a thought? sending you loads of hugs and good thoughts. xoxoxo

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